LEARNING TO DO NOTHING (Idleness as a BS detector/cleaner) – At the start of this year I resolved to do “nothing except if it felt like a hobby” i.e., “satisfy interests while providing entertainment value with zero pressure, no schedule and no feeling of duty”.

The rule is to wake up with the aim to “do nothing”, have nothing scheduled and avoid the usual guilt (or shame) encountered by most when “wasting time”, have minimum committments and talk to NO journalist. Of course, cut everything unpleasant, no matter what the potential gain. Treat everything (including mathematics) the way a great-uncle of mine who was a man of leisure treated his afternoon game of bridge: intellectual concentration as entertainment.

RESULT: 12 academic papers (9 accepted so far), finished a book (Silent Risk)–well, almost, wrote 100 aphorisms, ate 2 Beijing ducks, learned to typeset books as a self-standing publisher, found 4 investments … and this is 3/4 of the year.

NOTE: To do things make sure you have no assistant. They drag you into doing things for the sake of “work”.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb